Posts Tagged ‘Cireson’

I have previously done a post on CIreson IT Asset Management. However the people at Cireson have been very busy with new features to be added to their ITAM (IT Asset Management) tool.

Cireson Asset Management: New Feature Highlights

After recently releasing the newest version of the Asset Management app for Microsoft System Centre (Features Press Release), this post goes a little more in depth to explain some of the amazing features included in this latest release. Always striving to make life easier and more productive for those who use and implement SCSM, they put a lot of thought into the features clients asked for and updates everyone was clamouring for.

Highlighted below are a few of notable enhancements, including the Cireson full Asset Catalogue, Location to IP Awareness, Contract Management and Reporting.

The full Asset Catalogue found within the Cireson Asset Management app allows users to define standard hardware types, as well as information such as model, manufacturer, and price. With access to a comprehensive yet simple and informative page view with all the relevant information in one place, users can better manage the standardization of asset types no matter what the scale of the organization.

Location to IP Awareness is now also an incredibly exciting feature. This function tracks where hardware assets exist, and also allows for hardware to location awareness based on IP address – information which is provided by System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager. This is a great example of how Cireson works to utilize all System Centre components in order to provide the most insightful and rich experience possible.

Expanding on the extensive Contract Management capabilities of the Asset Management app, the new version boasts the ability to perform full contract management with different types of contracts that relate to various software and hardware assets under management. Support and maintenance contracts, leases, and warranties represent the main areas of contract management. Highly unique to the Cireson app is the ability to manage contract status via a built-in SLA engine, with notifications upon near breach or expiration of a contract’s end date.

In addition, the superior reporting functions of this new version allows for comprehensive reporting based on asset data from the data warehouse and cube reporting engine within Service Manager. These rich out-of-the-box reporting solutions cover contract, hardware asset, license, and software asset reports, amongst others.

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Other enhanced capabilities of the Cireson Asset Management app now include, app metering data tracking against software asset types to understand installation vs. utilization vs. purchased count, and over 250 brand new features that make the System Centre Service Manager experience better than ever before.

For more information, videos, and overviews relating to Cireson Asset Management for System Centre, visit the app store at www.cireson.com.

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Cireson have recently released an new enhancement to the Service Manager console called the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App. This particular application is very easy to install. To install the application into the console, it is simply a case of importing a few management packs and some XML files and DLL files. This is very easy to do and the installation instructions provided by Cireson are very simple and easy to follow as with all Cireson add-ins I have worked with in the past.

In order to get the full benefit from the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App, I would highly recommend that the Configuration Manager Connector be enabled within your environment. However, this is NOT a necessity. Within my environment as I run mine as a Lab, it is not always possible to have all the connectors enabled all the time. I was very easily able to configure my workflows (come with the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App) to work and pull in the required information.

A sample of my workflow configuration is below. The workflows and settings for the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App are found under the Administration Wunderbar and then settings as with all Cireson applications.

There are settings for both Software and Hardware Collections.

Software

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Hardware

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A little lower down on the Hardware tab, this is where the Configuration Manager Connector would add a tremendous amount of value as you can reference different  value to be used as a Hardware ID. So, if you had the Configuration Manager Connector enabled, you could reference a Serial Number or Asset Tag. However, it is perfectly feasable to reference Principal name.

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Under the “Miscellaneous”  tab, is where the logging is configured, which is amazingly helpful for troubleshooting.

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With my previous post about importing data, I showed you how to use the built-in CSV connector to do this task and how to create the required Projection Classes. However if you are looking for a quicker more automated to achieve this, enter Cireson and their Asset Import Tool. It takes all the guess work out of the import process and handles the Projection Classes for you.

The installation of the application is easy and requires the copying a DLL file to the Service Manager Installation folder and the import of a Management Pack ( a management Pack Bundle in this case). The instructions provided with the application are very clear and concise.

As usual with the Cireson applications, the settings for the applications can be found and tweaked in the Administration | Settings. This time, this is where the License Key will need to be entered
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So now, onto the “meat”. Let’s actually use the application and see how it works. The application works pretty much the same way as the CSV Connector. It is classified as a connector, and as such to use it, a new connector would need to be created. Connectors are found under Administration | Connectors

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If you have any Projection or Combinations classes you would like to use the application does allow the use of this.image

For this demo, I have used the Windows Computer Class, additional information around the Projection classes can be found here, this will allow to see the information (headers) used by the required class. The Windows Computer class has the following information.

Name Type MinLength MaxLength AutoIncrement

PrincipalName

string

0

256

FALSE

DNSName

string

0

256

FALSE

NetbiosComputerName

string

0

256

FALSE

NetbiosDomainName

string

0

256

FALSE

IPAddress

string

0

256

FALSE

NetworkName

string

0

256

FALSE

ActiveDirectoryObjectSid

string

0

256

FALSE

IsVirtualMachine

string

0

256

FALSE

DomainDnsName

string

0

256

FALSE

OrganizationalUnit

string

0

256

FALSE

ForestDnsName

string

0

256

FALSE

ActiveDirectorySite

string

0

256

FALSE

OffsetInMinuteFromGreenwichTime

int (range: [-2147483648, 2147483647])

0

256

FALSE

LastInventoryDate

datetime

0

256

FALSE

ObjectStatus

enum:System.

ConfigItem.ObjectStatusEnum

0

256

FALSE

AssetStatus

enum:System.

ConfigItem.AssetStatusEnum

0

256

FALSE

Notes

richtext

0 4000

FALSE

DisplayName

string

0

256

FALSE

So, for this, I will bulk import a few computers with only a few simple parameters.

I am simply adding two machines

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The Asset Import Tool also allows you to test your configuration first.

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Now we can map the Headers to the Projections, you will see I kept them the same, however if you are getting a file from the IT Department or any other department, this step here allows to map these correctly.image

Next, you can set your frequency, allowing you to automate the import. I have configured mine to run Every Hour.

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Then you can create the connector.

Final Connector completed.

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Now lets run it!!!!

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Since we enabled the option to “Test”, the results were written to a log file allowing us to test before running in a production environment.

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All looks good, let’s run it to bring in the data. A simple change needs to be made. We just need to remove a checkbox.

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Ok, change made. let’s import the data. So now, let’s re-run the import process.The Connector has now re-run, now we can check the data. This time without the testing.

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Now, we can see the new imported data. We can check here under Configuration Items | Computers | All Windows Computers

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And there we have it, importing nice and easy.

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I have always heard complaints from some of the analysts in my company about having to install the Service Manager Console on their machines and then complaining about having to learn a new application.

So, I went searching around and found a great application called Cireson SCSM Web Console, this allows analysts to update Incidents via a newly designed web portal for Analysts. Since the console is designed in HTML5, the web console is browser agnostic. This face also helps some companies to adopt this as it allows analysts to use all types of devices to update incidents.

The guide provided to install the application is Comprehensive and easy to follow. Just make sure you do all the steps. I have added some screenshots of errors I got along the way, trying to “jump the gun” and see the new Web Console in action.

“Issues and Errors” I ran into, all of which are easily fixed.

Server error in ‘/’ Application

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This error is pretty much self-explanatory, I tried to open the console before the Cireson Management Pack had been imported. A simple fix, import the Management Pack.

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Again, this looks intimidating. This is very easy to fix if you look at error. When you are going through the installation guide, it is very easy to miss a step. Like this, when configuring the web.config file with Active Directory Connector information, it is very easy to find the space for the DN Name of your domain. When the above happens, it is simple a case of not adding the full DN for a DOMAIN CONTROLLER.

But now, onto the console in action. Just one side note, for now the Cireson SCSM Web Console handles only incidents, I have heard that plans are in progress for the Cireson SCSM Web Console to be extended to include Service Requests and potentially Problems, WOW!!!!!!

The Cireson SCSM Web Console is really easy to navigate and very easy to understand, anything you can do in the actual console, you can do on the Cireson SCSM Web Console. So, if you make the Cireson SCSM Web Console publically available, your Analysts can update from anywhere with any device as the Web Console is NOT dependent on Microsoft Silverlight.

As you can see below, the Web Console is very nicely put together and gives you all the information you need at a quick glance.

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You can click an incident to open it and you will be presented with some detailed information regarding the incident as can be seen below. You can also “Edit Incident” from the Web Console to update it.

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From the top Level Tabs, you can see you access all the information you could regarding Incidents

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Below are screenshots of each “Section” from the Top Level Menu”

Incidents can also be LOGGED from the Web Console, displaying all information from your SCSM Implementation

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The “My Team’s Incidents” leverages the groups and information provided during the installation of the Web Console and provides a consolidated view of the Incidents assigned to the “Support Group” to which the currently logged on user is a member and this works very nicely with Cireson SCSM Group Assign

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The “All My Incidents” View provide a view of all incidents assigned to the currently “logged on” user.

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The “All Incidents” view provides an overview for all incidents within your Service Manager environment. By default, only active incidents are shown, you can select the checkbox to show resolved incidents.

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The “Search Incidents” views allows you to search via a number of different fields, making it really easy to find any incidents you are looking for.

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The “Configuration Items” view is the representation of the CI Items within the organization on the Web Console.

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The Cireson SCSM Web Console is a great addition to your Service Manager environment. It allows incidents to be updated quickly and easily from any device. I would highly recommend it.

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